June 4, 2011 at 3:44 am #14787RedlegParticipant
Try to quickly summon an image of good-with-small-children dog, and chances are you’ll picture something adorably Benji-shaggy. Or maybe a sweetie-pie golden retriever, or a loveball of a lab. It’s not likely, at least not in today’s perception of the breed, that an American pit bull terrier leaps to mind.
But not so long ago, pit bulls were brought in as “nanny dogs,” the trusted caretaker pups to watch over kids.
Vintage photographs recently posted on a personal blog show off the breed as babysitter.
It’s striking–and quite sad–to see such documentation of how beloved the now-maligned dog once was. The very same American pit bull is now more often associated with Michael Vick’s dogfights, and stories of household pets gone bad, sometimes tragically involving kids.
In the case of Vick, who was convicted of running a dogfighting ring, 47 of the pit bulls from his kennel were taken to animal sanctuaries or adopted. One rehabilitated dog named Mel, who moved to Dallas with a new owner, even received an edible key to the city.
But back to the breed’s history as a family dog: Helen Keller had a pit bull. Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote “Little House on the Prairie,” owned one, too. And Petey, the mascot pup with the black eye patch in “The Little Rascals?” Pit bull.
Over time, the breed, which was also bred to battle bulls and fight other dogs, picked up a reputation for a nasty nature. Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer” who is around the breed every day, says it’s people who should be blamed, not the breed. He writes on his website, “Pit bulls get a bad rap because of irresponsible owners.”June 15, 2011 at 2:37 am #17334OptimusParticipant
ohhh nice…. I loved it… We have a beautiful blue nose and hes the most loving thing we ever seen… he is also great with my little brothers that can be a pain every once in a while but he loves them… 🙂 i hope one day everyone will see these dogs how i do just a giant teddy bear guarding the whole bed from us.June 16, 2011 at 2:40 am #17336lillie of the valley grayParticipant
I saw something on a website I visit frequently for pit info,stories,and whatnot,and I also saw a list of people who owned or own pitbulls,the 2 that made me smile the most were:Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt.When I saw that 2 former presidents owned pits,I thought it was awesome, not to mention some awesomw PR for the breed.I rescued Lillie at 3 months old after she was dumped, and I tried to and still do keep up on pit events and news.Of course I know how wonderful, and funny,and smart these dogs are,but I also know the reputation they have, so since I am a groomer,I have always tried to educate ppl about pits through mine(she grew up at the grooming shop behind the front desk,so most customers aren’t afraid of her).When I took her to meet my husband’s kids for the first time,there were 8 kids at the house,and she picked his kids out over all the other kids,I have seen firsthand how great they are w/kids.From laying on the floor w/ “her boy” as his pillow,to him teaching her to balance a ball on her nose until he says go,and then teaching her to dive to the bottom of the pool to fetch plastic rings with weights on them,these are truly amazing dogs,they’re so couragous,so loyal,and soooo loving to their families.I absolutely love this breed.Here is a site I like the most,for really nice content,especially the poems and pics. http://WWW.PITBULLSONTHEWEB.COM is the site,and at the bottom of the page the “inspirations” tab is where the poems are,and the tab in the middle of the page that says “petpitbulls” has the cutest,funniest pics I have ever seen!June 16, 2011 at 3:59 am #17338OptimusParticipant
Wow… I just checked out the site and i totally love it. Thank you.
About the reputation, well i just got into a fight with someone at the dog park the other day because my dog got bit by the guy’s dog and the person had the nerve to tell me that pitbulls shouldnt be in the park… And when i actually had ppl come over and tell him that he never had any issues with other dog and they pointed out that my dog was bleeding he got quiet but still, i just dont know how ignorant ppl can be… Really wish that they would see these babies as we do. On the couch or on the top of me thinking hes a lap dog istead of a 70lbs little monster.. LOL 🙂 Thanks again for the site…
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